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Dean’s Office Support for Faculty Research

Dean’s Office Support for Faculty Research

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Dean’s Office Support for Faculty Research

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  1. Dean’s Office Support for Faculty Research CCAS 2010 New Orleans, LA Paula M. Lutz, Dean College of Letters and Science Montana State University; Bozeman

  2. Montana State University Bozeman, MT

  3. MSU-Bozeman: Institutional Information • Research expectations—set by departments a. sciences—grant-funded laboratory by tenure, grad students trained and peer-reviewed publications; oral presentations or posters at professional meetings b. letters—dissertation  monograph or peer-reviewed articles; presentation of papers at professional meetings • Office of Sponsored Programs: some centralized accounting and grant-writing support; OSP/VPR also provides start-up $ AND incentives (buyouts, Short Term Professional Development Leaves, annual research and creativity awards) • GRANTS ($109M in expenditures in FY10 campus-wide; $29M CLS) F&A  investment in research across all disciplines (start-up funds, $ for incentives and awards)

  4. Policies and opportunities for specific disciplines • Natural sciences: equipment purchases--grants (NSF MRI), foundations (Murdock Trust), and start-up funds; travel funds from grants and start-up packages; all start-up from VPR at present; equipment maintenance funded from F&A return • Social sciences: current emphasis provides grant-writing mentoring and seed grants (INBRE); travel funds available from Research Enhancement Awards (REA’s) in the College and Scholarship & Creativity grants campus-wide; course buyouts through BEST awards • Arts and humanities: travel funds available through REA and S&C; course buyouts through BEST awards

  5. MSU Opportunities • Research Enhancement Awards (REA) within the College: primarily for Letters; provide travel support for conferences; $75-100K from VPR and College F&A return (internal competition); • Buy-Out for Enhancing Scholarship and Teaching (BEST Awards): funded by VPR; competitive—15-20 per academic year; most often for Arts/Letters • Short-Term Professional Development Leaves (STPD’s): funded by VPR; funds longer research travel • Scholarship and Creativity Grants:funded by VPR; ($250k from central F&A funds via campus competition with external review); grants of $6k to 22k for lengthy, focused research projects/travel for Arts/Letters (such as summer research at an archive or an archeological dig) • Interdisciplinary Research/Creativity Proposals: up to $7.5K for ‘ID’ proposal development and submission • Montana Research and Commercialization Grants: Dept. of Commerce; $1.4M pool; requires 25% match

  6. Policies related to research support • Encouragement of proposal production and success: through New Faculty Forum, INBRE seed grants (special emphasis on social science research from NIH and NSF), internal seed grants for interdisciplinary research • Annual faculty awards honoring research and creativity: Creative Scholarship & Teaching; Meritorious Technology & Science; Undergraduate Research and Creativity Mentoring; Meritorious Research & Creativity • Research leaves: negotiable post-tenure under special circumstances; campus sabbatical policy through Faculty Senate process—10-12 per year; course reductions negotiated with start-up packages or through grant funds • Applied research, pedagogical research, community engagement: special emphasis on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research provides seed money at present; Teaching and Learning Center provides seed money for research in pedagogy; as a land grant, MSU has Extension as a CE link AND the Montana Agriculture Experiment Station (MAES) funding (primarily for the sciences)

  7. Obstacles/issues/challenges? • Research faculty/administration communication: a. Frustration over recent, sudden reductions in F&A return to colleges, departments, and PI’s; b. A new Research Board recently created as part of our new president’s faculty governance structure; c. Frustration over VPR, faculty, and deans’ sense that research F&A is used to backfill A&F shortfalls • Support services: social science researchers in departments just entering the chase for external funding have increasing needs for staff support; • Research space: Constant source of acrimony and discontent; negotiated in start-ups; expansions difficult; success in obtaining federal dollars for several buildings (USDA, NIH); self-funded one research building by bonding on future F&A returns;

  8. Decanal Support of Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activityacross Different Disciplines Christopher McCord College of Liberal Arts & Sciences November 11, 2010

  9. Research Expectations • Standards for Promotion & Tenure and annual merit evaluation are set by department; approved by college. • All departments in CLAS expect faculty to be research-active for Promotion & Tenure. • Annual merit is based on research, teaching & service; weights vary by dept. and can be individualized in some depts. • Level of research activity varies by discipline & teaching load, which in turn varies depending on whether or not department offers PhD. • No department requires external funding for Promotion & Tenure; some are moving towards some requirement.

  10. Research Support • Encouragement of proposal production and success • VPR funds “Research & Artistry” awards; separate categories for those in disciplines w/ access to external funding and those w/out • OSP has research development specialists who work w/ individual faculty to develop long-term research goals & funding strategies • Support for Undergraduate Research: • University funds Undergraduate Special Opportunities for Artistry & Research (student-initiated research funding requests) • College funds Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (faculty-initiated funding requests to engage students in their research) • Research leaves: • Sabbatical leaves every 6 years (recently able to fund about 30 per year in CLAS) • Course buy-outs (15% of salary per course, up to $15,000) • Moving more & more towards differential teaching loads based on research activity.

  11. Research Support • Applied research, pedagogical research, community engagement • College has important role in validating & promoting such work • University Outreach provides contacts; VPR provides support on technology transfer • OSP provides same logistical support as for research funding • Start-Up Funding • Negotiated with individuals in laboratory sciences; college provides lead funding, with some support from VPR and department • For all other individuals, College provides fixed 8K award, to be used during first 2 years at faculty member’s discretion. • Shared Research Facilities • Working with VPR to move towards shared analytical facilities (including physical facilities such as NMR’s and gene sequencing; computing facilities; methods resources such as statisticians or quantitative research methods) • Moving towards centrally-funded facilities with cost recovery (both direct & indirect).

  12. Research Support • Engagement with National Laboratories: We support joint appointments and collaborative research partnerships with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). • Support for Interdisciplinary Research: • VPR returns 10% of F&A to formal interdisciplinary units • College promotes “shared credit”, formal joint appointments, embedding of interdisciplinary effort into reward & regard system; providing a “level playing field” for interdisciplinary work. • College & Provost’s Office fund specific interdisciplinary projects such as Environmental Studies & Southeast Asian Studies. • Joint Appointments • Joint appointments can be either internal (within college, across colleges, between 2 depts. or dept. and interdisc. Center) or external w/ ANL and FNAL. • College provides infrastructure and “moral support” for facilitating joint appts.: codifies how joint appts. work in annual reviews, merit, P&T, access to funding, etc.

  13. Support for Specific Disciplines • Laboratory Sciences: • Equipment Purchases are funded through cost-sharing on grants (NSF MRI), and start-up funds • Space owned by departments; College provides some cost-sharing on renovations • Graduate assistants – moving towards incentives for externally-funded RA’s. • Single-Scholar Work: • Travel and release-time are the most valuable forms of support. • Both are provided to new faculty through startup packages; • Depts., college & VPR contribute to travel; VPR funds release-time through Research & Artistry awards • Creative Work & Interdisciplinary Work: • Recognition of the validity of both is an important form of support

  14. Issues & Challenges • Research faculty/administration communication: • Post-award support in Grants Fiscal Accounting is focused primarily on compliance; somewhat adversarial relationship between GFA & PI’s. • Lack of understanding of F&A distribution; believe that F&A distribution doesn’t direct resources to ongoing research support. • Research Facilities: University has created research facilities w/out providing funding beyond initial setup. Need support for staffing; maintenance; upgrades. Need methodology for deciding which facilities to provide on-campus; which to out-source. • Culture & Expectations for Funding: Efforts to “prime the pump” by providing university funding to underwrite research infrastructure has not been phased out and has become entrenched.